Get Well, Soon!
It had only been a few generations prior to my coming into this world that mankind employed the art of caring through the social practice of sending cards. During those years of my growing up in the quaint little town on the Big Sandy, this nicety was already waning as by many it was seen as archaic and a bit of a bother. Sadly, there was little left in the generations to follow.
Yes, we remember the commercials by Hallmark that repeated ‘Because you cared enough to send the very best.’ It was of course more about the marketing of a product than it was to keeping the practice of ‘dropping a note,’ to those friends and family who need some cheering up or recognition. While I saw lots of post cards going through the mail during those days I have to admit that I didn’t particularly see a duty for me to continue.
When I was a senior in high school it became my turn to send out invitations for the ceremonies that would take place to mark the occasion we struggled to finally see. I was personally embarrassed to send out the invitations in that I saw them as ‘asking for a gift.’ In my mind one simply didn’t ask for gifts for one’s self. Later, I was hounded to send ‘thank you’ cards to those who had responded to what I felt was as an unbridled fishing trip for goodies.
Vestiges of this practice continue with engagement notices, wedding invitations, birth announcements, and bragging about educational or business accomplishments. In my heart I used this vision of snobbery as an excuse for not sending cards every time an occasion arose in the life of others. Today, finally, as an old man I see who the real snob is. For this I repent for a lifetime of ignorance and misplaced opportunities to let people know that I truly care.
I remember once when I was dating I happened to go out with a young lady from another city. During a day of picnics and touring the area she took me by to meet her grandmother who clearly was from a well-to-do background that I had only read about. We drove down a long driveway to finally come into view of the grand home sitting on a rise over a scenic view of a river. I stayed on polite conversation and tried my best to be worthy of standing on her carpets. Later, an urge came over me and I sat down to do the unexpected. I wrote a card in my best hand, thanking the grandmother for her hospitality and gracious hosting. I heard later that whether the girl cared for me that the grandmother was sold. Because of the distance between homes I never dated the young lady again. The point is that the card opened doors and reflected cultural upbringing. Well, the jokes on them, I guess.
Society used to use business cards in many realms of life dropping one on trays when visiting homes and businesses. We used to send sympathy cards upon the passing of an acquaintance, family member, or friend. We sent out Valentine’s Cards like the ones you surely posted last week. We sent out congratulation cards on hearing of accomplishments or other causes of celebration.
This week, after the trip through the pandemic shut-downs, illnesses, and even deaths, an omnibus card is in order. For my friends back home dealing with ice storms, snow, slick roads, and loss of power, and my friends in Texas that suffer with lack of power, heat, and safe travel, and those in the deep south who have seen tornados and other weather events, an electronic card is apropos rather than sending more US Mail trucks on our slick highways.
For each of you, I am sorry for your suffering and am praying for you. Truly, we all could use a ‘Get Well’ card so here is mine to you, my friends and readers. May spring soon arrive and some normalcy return in our lives.